Financial Services Director Bernita W. Demery to Retire
Post Date:03/23/2018 4:56 PM
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The City of Greenville's Financial Service Director Bernita W. Demery will retire effective April 1, 2018. Her planned retirement comes after dedicated service to the City for 30 years.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Greenville over the last 30 years," Demery said. "I remain excited about my past accomplishments and my new season of growth. The high performing team in the Financial Services Department made it all worthwhile."
During her tenure with the City of Greenville, Demery's fiscal expertise and leadership played a significant role in the growth of the organization's fiscal strength and solvency through bolstered fund balance reserves, improvements to financial policies, and progressive approaches for debt management. At the start of Demery's career with the City Of Greenville, the City had a General Fund Balance of $17.5M. Under the leadership of Mrs. Demery, the City's General Fund budget has grown to over $82M.
While overseeing tremendous budget growth, Demery has also managed similar growth with the City's investments, managing a $65M Investment Portfolio which started out at approximately $1.5M in 1988. Demery has issued and managed over $200M in debt for the City during her time here. Most notably, she initiated the thorough review of the financing options for the 2015 Street and Pedestrian General Obligation Bonds, saving taxpayers more than $1.5M in interest. Demery's bond history also includes being very instrumental in selling the first revenue bonds for Greenville Utilities Commission. Her most recent projects included the new G.K. Butterfield Transportation Center, the Fourth Street Parking Garage, and the Town Creek Culvert stormwater drainage improvement project.
Also, under Demery's leadership, the City was upgraded from A1 and A to its current Aa2 and AA bond rating designation with Moody's Investor Services and Standard & Poor's Global Ratings, respectively. She is an excellent negotiator and has saved the City millions of dollars over her tenure. Demery remained dedicated over the years and has led the City through four system implementations, with the most recent implementation being in 2015 wherein the City released new financial software that will serve as a legacy system for years to come.
"Demery's ability to foster the City of Greenville's financial strength is proven by the 29 consecutive awards the City has received from the Government Finance Officers Association for Excellence in Financial Reporting, as well as many Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards," Assistant City Manager Michael Cowin said.
Other accomplishments Demery has achieved include changing the payroll from weekly to bi-weekly, starting the City's risk management program, managing and leading the Capital Improvement Program (started in 2009), Facilities Improvement Program (started in 2014) and the Vehicle Replacement Fund (started in 2006). Demery also earned her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License from the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners in 1995 and a Master of Business Administration degree from East Carolina University in 2002, all while serving as the City's Financial Services Director.
She is currently a member of the Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors and holds the office of Treasurer. With all that Demery has accomplished, she is most recognized and noted for developing high performing teams and being an empowering leader with a heart for people and excellence.